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1842: AR - Mortal Combat-Dr. Nimrod Menefee & Nelson Phillips
On Wednesday last, one of the most savage combats took place, near Lewisburg, in Conway county, between two citizens of that county, that we have ever heard of - even in Arkansas, famed as she is for such brutal scenes. The parties were Dr. Nimrod Menefee and Mr. Nelson Phillips, near neighbors, and, until recently, very intimate friends. Having had a serious quarrel some days previous, and mutual threats exchanged, they came together in the woods, without any witness of the combat, except a negro boy, who accidentally happened to be passing along the road. Phillips, it seems, discharged his pistol first, and missed his antagonist, Menefee then fired and shot Phillips in the back. The latter then drew his knife and attacked M. with it, and at the first thrust, gave him a frightful cut in the abdomen, which let out his entrails. Menefee having no weapon except his empty pistol, and being inferior in size to Phillips, defended himself in the best way he could, by warding off the blows of his antagonist, with his pistol. The first knife used by Phillips broke off at the handle, when he drew another, and renewed the combat. In this way they fought, (the boy thinks) for near half an hour, sometimes on their feet and sometimes on the ground, until both became so completely exhausted by fatigue and loss of blood, that they were compelled to desist for want of strength to continue the contest.
On assistance coming up, the parties were found stretched on the ground, weltering in their blood, and both supposed to be mortally wounded. Dr. Menefee, we understand, was horribly cut to pieces, having no less than 31 cuts and stabs. He survived only till Saturday last, and was buried on Sunday.
Mr. Phillips received only one serious wound, a pistol shot through the region of the kidneys, and no hopes are entertained of his recovery.
We forbear any comments on this painful occurrence, farther than the expression of our abhorrence of such scenes, and our extreme regret that it adds another to the long catalogue of brutal outrages with which the character of our State has been too long stained.
Source: The Arkansas Gazette, Little Rock, Arkansas, Wednesday, February 2, 1842